Brady is a founding member of Firebird Artisan Mills and a veteran of the United States Navy. He has more than a decade of leadership experience. His background also includes technical expertise in a variety of areas such as packaging, project management and gluten-free milling.
Agspring leadership, with decades of experience, understands the complexity of global agriculture production, distribution and marketing.
Chief Executive Officer
Beemer has more than 28 years of grain and agriculture processing industry experience and has built a reputation and track record as a senior executive providing strategic and operational leadership. Over this time, he has served on boards of directors of multiple companies, and managed more than $5 billion in manufacturing and agricultural industry assets while working with multiple private equity firms. Most recently he served as CEO of Aventine Renewable Energy, where he revitalized the company.
Mark started his career in commodity trading at the Chicago Board and joined Louis Dreyfus Corp. in 1988, moving to Archer Daniels Midland Co. through the company’s 1993 joint venture, where he managed the corn and soybean merchandising operations. During his 13-year tenure with Archer Daniels Midland Co, he served in various key management roles, including strategic planning, operations and corporate transportation. In the Kansas City community, Beemer serves as a member of the National Agricultural Center and Hall of Fame board of directors.
Vice President, Sales
Hallman has more than 25 years of sales leadership and account management experience within the food and beverage industry, where he has built a proven track record in developing recognized value and positive year-over-year growth. Hallman has also built a diverse portfolio of experiences in selling specialty valued food ingredients such as: soy protein, food protection hydrocolloids, emulsifiers, systems, enzymes, high intensity sweeteners, flavors, probiotics, and fibers across broad food applications, which spans a variety of industry segments.
During his 18-year tenure with DuPont Nutrition and Health (Solae and Danisco), he served in several key sales leadership positions, including most recently, as the Director of Sales over the Meat and Culinary and Nutrition Segment, where he managed over $280 million dollars in sales.
Director of Information Technology
Lefman is responsible for IT systems and resources across the Agspring enterprise. Most recently, Lefman was the head of IT for Aratana Therapeutics, a life sciences company dedicated to pets. After spending the better part of a decade in the public sector, he started his own technology consulting firm in Kansas City and has served as virtual CTO/CIO for several small to midsize local companies. He brings Agspring experience with IT systems and practices stretching from the public to private sector and from small businesses to publicly traded companies. Lefman is also on the technology steering committee for The Grooming Project which focuses on ending cycles of poverty through job training and life skills. He holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Missouri.
Assistant Vice President of Transportation and Supply Chain
Skatvold is responsible for overseeing all rail and truck logistics at Big River Rice and Grain and for Thresher Artisan Wheat, Agspring. He enhances Agspring’s customer base by providing consistent just-in-time delivery by truck or railcar, and by managing the Thresher private railcar fleet. He also works to ensure that the increasingly stringent requirements for food safety and security are met for both truck and rail movements.
Chief Financial Officer
Chapin serves as chief financial officer of Agspring. His more than 20 years in the commodity and milling trade has included multiple positions at Louis Dreyfus Company including head of industry, chief operating officer, director of operations and interior chief financial officer—all for the North American region, as well as controller of the Kansas City office. Previously, Chapin was a controller and internal audit manager for Bartlett and an auditor for other firms in our region. He is a certified public accountant and holds a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics along with a master’s degree in accounting.
Director, Human Resources
Trupka has been a versatile member of the corporate team since mid-2013, contributing to many functional areas including HR, finance and administration. As the human resources director of Agspring, she brings expertise in human resource management, quality assurance and accounting to expand the internal HR capabilities of the corporate team, institute college recruiting and internship programs, and continue staff development and training efforts.
Trupka’s previous roles at Agspring involved project management supporting mergers and acquisition activity, recruiting and managing employee relations, as well as helping develop the company’s training and onboarding program. Her work at Dine Equity included the development, implementation and reporting methods of a quality monitoring system for distributors and suppliers.
She remains active in the community as a member of SHRM-KC for HR professionals.
Vice President, Corporate Asset Operations
Valenti brings Agspring more than 17 years of professional experience in technical and large asset operations management in the chemical processing, food ingredients, packaged consumer goods, large-scale wet corn processing and biofuels industries. Valenti recently served as plant manager for Alltech after holding several operations management positions at Aventine Renewable Energy Inc. Prior to that, Valenti was operations manager for B&G Foods while they obtained SQF certification, and technical manager for Parallel Environmental Services Corp. managing capital projects and improving operations, which contributed to record profits. Earlier in his career, Valenti served in various management and engineering roles with Tate & Lyle, a multinational agribusiness company.
Vice President of Marketing, Customer Engagement and Sustainability
Warner brings Agspring more than two decades of diverse experience with both business and consumer markets through results-based market, product/service and channel development. Warner’s work with agricultural information systems, consumer packaged goods, and sustainable food ingredients has spanned market planning, product development, business development and marketing communications roles.
Previous to Agspring, Warner founded 4Comm Marketing Insights & Solutions, a market planning and operations consultancy. Warner has also served a Director of Marketing for On Demand Technologies and Embarq Logistics where he also led the corporation’s private-label manufacturer, Premier Telecom Products. Prior to that Warner held marketing, research and communications roles in the telecom, healthcare and entertainment industries.
Plant Manager of Firebird Artisan Mills
Vice President, Merchandising of Thresher Artisan Wheat
As VP of Merchandising, Hanson leads in the strategic management, implementation, and efficiency of purchasing and marketing grain for Thresher Artisan Wheat. Hanson brings twenty-eight years’ grain and agriculture experience in cost-effective merchandising strategies for area producers, including three years as senior risk manager for Land O’Lakes.
Hanson remains active in the community by currently serving on the National Grain and Feed Association Rules Committee. Over the years, Hanson has served on other boards including the National Grain and Feed Association Risk Committee, the American Feed Ingredient Association, and the Edina Baseball Association.
Senior Vice President, Operations of Big River Rice and Grain
After three years in sales with Monsanto Company, Henderson spent 30 years directly involved in all aspects of production agriculture managing a rice, cotton, corn, soybean, wheat and milo farm.
In 2007, he joined Tubbs Rice Dryers, managing the elevator in Mer Rouge, Louisiana. During his time with Tubbs, the business grew from a volume of less than 1 million bu. to more than 7 million bu. annually. When Tubbs Rice Dryers became part of Big River Rice and Grain, Henderson remained in the manager’s role in Mer Rouge and managed construction projects at other locations as well.
Managing Director of Agforce Transport Services
Preisinger has more than 15 years combined experience working in the transportation industry, having experience in the areas of sales, operations, and management. Having been seasoned in both foreign and domestic transportation divisions, Michael has a well-rounded understanding of the whole transportation industry model. Michael previously served as the Senior Sales Manager at TSC Container Freight. As Managing Director at Agforce, Michael oversees operations and carrier relationships and works with the team daily with the goal to provide the most creative solutions to the unique customer needs while enhancing the customer experience.
Senior Vice President, Merchandising of Big River Rice and Grain
As VP of Merchandising, Towery adds depth to the merchandising team in export and domestic trading, truck, rail, barge and manages the trading strategy and execution for Big River Rice and Grain. Towery has an extensive background in the grain business, including four years with Bunge in soybean processing and grain divisions and 12 years as general manager of Bayou Grain, which in 2013 became part of Big River Rice and Grain.
Towery is committed to meeting facility and superior customer service expectations and assuring a fair price and accessible market for area producers to deliver their grain for Big River. Towery remains active in the community where he has served on many boards over the years including the USA Rice Federation Latin American Trade Policy committee and Ashley County Farm Bureau board. In addition, he is the former Chairman of the USA Rice Merchant’s Association.
Vice President, Business Development of Agforce Transport Services
Tuley brings more than 10 years of freight industry experience which includes positions at C.H. Robinson and TSC Container Freight with whom he helped initiate the domestic freight brokerage category. When the opportunity came to form Agforce Transport Services as a division of Agspring, Tuley’s background in sales made him the ideal candidate to spearhead the initiative. Along with overseeing transportation sales, business development and account management, Andy works with the team to grow the Agforce business portfolio. Additionally, Tuley’s goals focus on ways to enhance the customer experience while developing continual sales growth.
Senior Vice President of Merchandising of Thresher Artisan Wheat
Wille serves as the chief operating officer of Thresher Artisan Wheat. Wille has a deep background in the premium grain and wheat markets including most recently managing grain merchandising for General Mills. Previously, Wille managed special grains for ADM Benson Quinn and Farmland Atwood for nearly a decade and half.
Huss brings a wealth of experience with a 40 year career in Senior Management roles at Archer Daniels Midland Company spanning merchandising and transportation areas of responsibility. Most recently, Huss was Senior Vice President and Chief Risk Officer at the company and has previously held the position of President of the company’s Agricultural Services and Transportation business units. Huss has a superior understanding of the U.S. grain supply chain including terminal operations as well as barge and rail logistics.
Tubbs has been in the agriculture business for more than 50 years, working in the grain elevator businesses well as farm production of corn, soybeans, wheat and rice. After merging his company, Tubbs Rice Dryers, Inc to become Big River Rice & Grain Company, Tubbs lead the new company as CEO until he retired in January, 2015. Tubbs now serves as director emeritus for Big River Rice and Grain.